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Propagation Intern

Requisition Number: 
Horticulture Operations Administration
Job Status: 
To learn about and gain experience in the propagating of plants by assisting with the propagation of annuals, perennials, native plants, tropical plants, and floriculture crops grown in the production greenhouses and nursery. Attend regular staff meetings, field trips, and weekly intern meetings with guest speakers during the summer to learn about general Chicago Botanic Garden operations.
Duties and Responsibilities: 

In this role you will be responsible for the following: 

  • Assist the plant propagator with sowing seed, stratifying and scarifying seeds, taking cuttings, making divisions, grafting, and budding. 
  • Assist with the care of propagules including watering, fertilizing, thinning, and repotting before they are assigned to a grower. Make occasional chemical applications. 
  • Assist with researching propagation techniques and record keeping, including tracking propagation requests in a computer tracking system and recording propagation scheduling. 
  • Assist other growers in the greenhouses and nursery as needed. 
  • Prepare and present a five- to ten-minute lecture about your experience to the horticulture division. Lead a tour of propagation facilities for other horticulture staff. 

Key Garden competencies/behaviors desired

  • Communicates in a manner that gains the trust and support of others at all levels.
  • Works effectively with others despite differences of opinion and style; builds alliances.
  • Has a tolerance for opposing points of view.
  • Strives for collaboration. Works cooperatively, as a positive contributor to the team.
  • Demonstrates a positive attitude and shows kindness in all workplace interactions.
  • Makes decisions appropriate for level of responsibility.
  • Can effectively adapt to change; can shift gears comfortably; is flexible, and embraces change with a “can-do” attitude.
  • Is self-aware; knows personal strengths and weaknesses; seeks feedback and is open to negative feedback as an opportunity for improvement.
  • Is cool under pressure; can be counted on to hold things together during tough times; can handle stress; is not knocked off balance by the unexpected; is a settling influence during a crisis.
  • Recognizes problems, constructively identifies and articulates solutions.
  • Picks up garbage when it is seen regardless of position.
  • Follows safety guidelines to ensure a safe working environment and consistently demonstrates safe work behaviors.
  • Is welcoming of new hires.

Our ideal candidate will have the following: 

  • Able to work 9 months beginning in August. 
  • Be enrolled in a college horticulture program or related field with an interest in greenhouse and nursery management. Candidates within a year of their graduation will also be considered. 
  • Able to work in a fast-paced work environment. 
  • Good communication and interpersonal skills. 
  • Must have or be able to obtain an operator's license for chemical applications. 
Physical Demands: 
Some requirements for lifting, pushing, and pulling items up to 50 pounds.
Why Apply?: 

Come work in a setting that is like no other as you support our mission: We cultivate the power of plants to sustain and enrich life. Take the first step toward being one of the employees who make the Garden one of the treasures of the Forest Preserves of Cook County. Apply today. Please note that applicants who do not meet the required qualifications will not be considered.

Disclaimer: The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by people assigned to this classification. They are not intended to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities and qualifications required of personnel so classified.

In accordance with Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972, Chicago Botanic Garden does not discriminate on the basis of sex in its programs or activities, including in employment or admissions. Please call (847) 835-8264 to contact our Title IX Coordinator should you have questions or concerns.